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Sustainability (2): The built environment - A Green Future

Broxtowes Green Futures Programme is to be applauded as it has reduced its own carbon emissions by 45% since 2009 and aims to get net emissions to zero across the Borough by 2027. However, the next step will need a major and sustainable change programme to deliver the balance. This might include:

         improving planning standards and conditions covering building materials, design and orientation, lighting, natural ventilation, recycling, rainwater capture and usage, landscaping and carbon off-setting;

         providing sustainability advice to architects and developers;

         ensuring all new buildings or improvements  are brought up to at least EPC level E with

o   increased adoption of energy efficiency technologies in commercial and domestic buildings;

o   coal, gas and oil replaced by non-carbon electric, local heat networks and heat pumps;

o   provision of generation capability through wind, solar and heat pumps supported by electricity storage batteries N.B. Nottingham University and the City Council have helped develop and install the largest battery in a commercial housing project in the UK;

o   carbon offsetting action plans;

o   use of solar or LED lighting;

o   all new or replacement roofing being green or alternatively solar PV (Utrecht has just made this commitment). This includes car ports and covered parking;

o   rainwater harvesting and efficient grey water usage for gardens and washing;

o   restricted parking for residents and staff, secure cycle parking and the promotion of car sharing/clubs;

o   E-car charge points built in all new homes with a parking space;

o   homes and buildings protected from the increased risk of flood events;

o   allotments being provided if no garden space is included in house or flat developments; and

o   private car charge points on all council buildings, large retailers with parking and in car parks.

 

Sustainability policies and standards should also deliver:

         more efficient solar powered street lighting;

        improved energy efficiency of all Council, business and industry buildings by, in their sites, offices, processes and factories, using energy from renewables, waste, wind, sewage, water, land and movement;

        a fleet of vehicles using renewable sources of power;

        all council housing stock retrofitted from an energy use perspective - including wall insulation (possibly using the Dutch ‘energisprong’ system trialled in Nottingham), water efficient bathrooms/showers and waste separation facilities; and

        other public organisations, private businesses and private landlords must also deliver to the same standards as the public estate. 

Gary Smerdon-White                                                                  16 August 2020

 

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